The Omnibuses blog has done some calculations:-
The current Volvo B9TLs (double deck buses) seat 74, the B7LAs (Streetcars) 42.
That means there are currently 555 seats per hour with double decks operating at every eight minutes. This will change to 359 (Omnibuses blog quotes 315 - fbb) seats with a bus every seven minutes on ftr, admittedly with considerably more standing room.
So: less seats, higher staffing costs, possibly higher maintenance costs? It all looks a bit risky from a commercial point of view. fbb, in blissful ignorance, reckons at least a 30% increase in running costs which, presumably, means a necessitous 30% increase in revenue to stand still. That is a lot of extra passengers!
Then there is the £74,000 worth of infrastructure improvements. Local authorities have an appalling track record in delivering their share of the "bargain"; maybe West Yorkshire will do better than most. fbb also wonders about Wifi. Is it a gimmick? Have you ever tried to use a laptop on a busy bus? Tomorrow's blog may provide some answers (see above)
Undoubtedly, service 72 is an ideal route to show the Streetcars at their trendy best; far better than wiggling around narrow estate roads in York. But it is still a "stop-and-start" journey with little opportunity to speed the passenger on the way. All credit to First for not simply ditching the vehicles and let us hope that this project is a spectacular success. fbb is looking forward to an autumnal expedition to the lands north of Watford Junction.
Thursday's (21st June) "Route One" (read here) on-line magazine** reports "internal refurbishment with leather seats" and a "dedicated livery" in addition to the WiFi. The article implies that the service will be branded "BRT" rather than "72". If that is so, then one thing is certain; BRT (Bus RAPID Transport) will not be the rapid-est way to travel between Leeds and Bradford!
** If you a reading this blog on or after Thursday 28th June, this link will take you to a new edition of "Route One", not the one that mentions the Streetcars and route 72.
We are used to queueing to get off the Island, but this level of disruption is unacceptable. Heads should roll and Festivals should be held on Rockall Island. Grump grump!